#880 - "Baby King" by Jason Gray
Jason Gray offers his perspective on the unique power displayed in God's choice to come to us as a powerless infant.

Posted: December 12, 2017 | By: KevinDavis_NRT
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From the first time I heard the song "Blessed Be" by Jason Gray from his album All the Lovely Losers, I was hooked by the emotional and biblical messages of his songs. In fact, that song was the 8th song I featured for my Behind the Song devotional article series which started back in March 2008. I've since featured many more of Jason's songs, and now this is our sixteenth devotional together and our third original Christmas song discussion, making Jason the most featured artist over the past ten years and 880 song devotionals. 

Whether you are a follower of Jesus or just someone who enjoys good music, this song will minister to your soul, lift your spirit and most importantly focus your attention on Christ. I had the chance to speak with Jason about his original Christmas song "Baby King."

Please tell me the personal story behind the song.

Every time I write a Christmas song, it's the same message, but I'm coming at it from another angle. This song is very consistent in its message. In thinking about where this came from, there's a quote G.K. Chesterton wrote that inspired this song: "we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we are." 

That quote put me on the path of how I think about Christmas and the human heart and what God wants to do with us. That was the first place I began to be aware of what sin does to us: it makes us old and weary. Jesus tells us to come to Him, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and He will give us rest. All that we've seen that breaks our hearts. All the ways we've disappointed ourselves weighs heavily on us. The Bible verse about coming to Jesus like a child is part of the inspiration of this song.

Which Bible verses connect to the message of the song? 

Luke 2:7-14 (NKJV): "And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger." And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: "Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!"

Matthew 18:3 (NIV): And He said: "Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."

1 Peter 2:24 (NIV): "He himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; By His wounds you have been healed."

What's the takeaway message? 

I think God is trying to make us children again, which was a theme from my full-length Christmas album. I believe that God's agenda and His desire is to restore us to childlikeness and innocence. I think about how it's so hard for us to be childlike and innocent because we are so world-weary. Why are we weary? We don't want to be taken advantage of. We see people being kind to us because they want something from us. We see people lie to us. We get schooled in how evil and duplicitous the human heart is. We are often victimized and wounded by it. The only people who hurt us are the people who have power over us. If someone has power over us, more often than not, we learn to be suspicious of power and to guard our hearts. 

How does God get past those defenses? I believe God is so sensitive to where we are and that we've had to learn to protect ourselves, He came in great weakness as a baby. That reveals the gentleness and tenderness of God. He came to us who have been wounded by people who have power over us in a gentle and powerless way. We are defenseless and disarmed before a baby. It blasts away our defenses and is almost irresistible. In the incarnation, I see both the gentleness of God and the strength of God all in the same moment. He is mindful of where our hearts have been, and He came in a weakness that blasts apart our defenses. That's very interesting to me, and that's what this song is about. 

The beauty of the incarnation to me is that it is a constant reminder that God considers the whole story of where others are coming from, and He meets them in a way that they can receive Him. He gives us an example of how we can come alongside others and create the opportunity for conversation to happen, as opposed to drawing a line in the sand and arguing.

Come now, you don't have to fear anymore 
There's never been a king quite like this one before 
He knows it's not easy to let down your guard 
That it might take a baby to open your heart 
And tenderly pull your defenses apart
Ring every bell, shout out the message 
All hail the coming of Jesus 
Lord of us all, small and defenseless 
Power comes swaddled in meekness 
So don't be afraid, He came as a baby King
Come see the wonder where new life begins 
The child who can make us all children again 
'Cause we've learned that power is something to fear 
So we hide our hearts when power is near 
But everything changes when a baby appears
Ring every bell, shout out the message 
All hail the coming of Jesus 
Lord of us all, small and defenseless 
Power comes swaddled in meekness 
To make us feel safe, He came as a baby King
The morning is here, the child in me awakes 
I throw back the covers and run to the place 
Where my gift is waiting and I come face to face with the baby 
Come see the baby King, come see the baby King 
He changes everything, come see the baby King 
Ring every bell, this is the birthday of Jesus 
Come as a child, we are all children on Christmas
So, ring every bell, shout out the message 
All hail the coming of Jesus 
Lord of us all, small and defenseless 
Power comes swaddled in meekness 
So don't be afraid, He came as a baby King
So don't be afraid
He came as a baby King, yeah

Here's the full G.K. Chesterton quote from his book Orthodoxy: "Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, 'Do it again;' and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, 'Do it again' to the sun; and every evening, 'Do it again' to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we."

I am moved every time I read the Gospel account in Luke: "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people." This song perfectly captures that celebratory revering of Jesus. I think God wants us to examine His Word and think about who we are in the Bible story of the birth of Jesus and what we would do in those circumstances and remember, "don't be afraid, He came as a Baby King." In our busy society, many of us may miss God's blessings in our lives by turning away chances to live life with people. Come alongside someone who doesn't know Jesus as Lord and allow them to have curiosity about who Jesus is by having civil conversations and dropping your defenses. Be vulnerable and meek like our Savior. Have that childlike faith that we are called to have as believers, and sing along: "come see the Baby King... come as a child, we are all children on Christmas."

We should never forget that Jesus our King was humbly born in a stable, probably a cave, with animals. There are still billions of people on earth that don't know Jesus as their King. One day He will rule the new heavens and the new earth, and every knee will bow and every tongue confess that He is Lord. The world is still crying out desperately for a Savior, and our job as followers of Jesus is to tell the world that He came, He lived a perfect, sinless life, He died for our sins and He is risen! Ask the Lord Jesus to look into your heart and allow you to receive Him with a childlike wonder and cry out "all hail the coming of Jesus!" Amen to that!

Listen to the song below.


NRT Lead Contributor Kevin Davis is a longtime fan of Christian music, an avid music collector and credits the message of Christian music for leading him to Christ. He lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and three daughters.

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